Thanks for your posts on the OTTO. They are like a review in themselves.
I have one on order and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.
One thing I am keen to understand is the cooling time between brews. Have you done any experimenting to establish what the quickest turn-around time is? Do you find you have to wait until it is stone cold before starting again, or can you push the boundaries a bit?
I just made myself a delicious cup, one shot is not enough and can vouch for the less than 6 minute time.
I actually made espresso for four last week and cooled the machine under a lukewarm stream of water before undoing the group. If you succeed in taking it off while hot.....you will make a coffee mess-o-grinds all over the room. The pressure is that good.
Lukewarm, then cold. No problem. First of course, release all the pressure by opening full the frothing knob.
I must agree with you: the OTTO makes a sweet espresso devoid of all the nastiness.
On a long distance conversation with the inventor-engineer-producer, Craig asked me to undo the boiler because as I have one of the first machines I might have the ONLY teflon tipped safety valve. What a surprise greeted my eyes. The innards, although uncomplicated made me think of a small refinery. Every bit thought out and only the best elements assembled to make the OTTO. Would you believe thare are German clamps inside?
If the ATOMIC belongs in a museum and they do, The OTTO is located in a special room and viewing it is by invitation only.
This is the last time I mention both in the same breath. They are completely different. It is not fair for either to be compared in any manner whatsoever.
The best ATOMIC is now produced by a gentleman called Jack Grieve from Atomicespresso.
And the OTTO is made by Craig Hiron.
These are exciting times for coffee fans. Constructive times.
Happy times amidst the worlds cancer zones. Nough said.
Enjoy yor new OTTO. Trust me, it will stay new for a very long time.
It is good to hear that the OTTO is robust enough for you to accelarate the cooling process so you can get the next brew underway.
So am I right in using the removal of the group head as the litmus test? If you can remove it without putting grounds on the walls of your kitchen then you are right to go again?
In fact, I spent a few hours with Craig and the OTTO in Sydney in June and had a shot or two from the machine and was very impressed. I think there were some small tweaks remainging before the first production run started - so I assume that things have only got better. I can vouch for what you say about the quality of the parts. So much time and effort has been spent putting this together.
Craig said something that stuck with me, and summarises the whole approach to the OTTO quite well. He didn't want the first people who purchased the OTTO to be the "beta testers" (ie. finding the flaws that would be fixed in version 2). Instead he has released (I understand) a range of steadily improving prototypes to friends and associates to iron out the kinks over the last couple of years. Respect!
On a more humourous note, there is a video of Craig removing the group head while the machine is under pretty much full pressure (just to see what would happen). Both Craig and the machine come through unscathed, but hot coffee grounds are pretty impressively distributed Craig does say "don't try this at home" though
Yes, I saw the video and was flabbergasted on a marketing view point.
Seriously, I doubt that any buyer of the OTTO would try this.
I'm not elitist by any stretch of the mind, but I think that the OTTO will go to deserving homes and be used with respect.
It is not for every one, just like any well crafted machine of any type. The Aptera comes to mind and a Leica, also a Bugatti type 35A, or that delicious type 40 with compressor that Ettore built for his sister....but I disgress.....not for everybody and anybody..
You get my drift?
I agree with you that discerning coffee afficianados (fiends? ) are the most likely to hunt one of these machines down.
Having said that, I believe that the OTTO site needs a FAQ section that explains how it is different from the Atomica (that most people compare it to), and just how similar it is to a stand-alone espresso machine. In the various coffee forums I have trawled, these seem to be the main lines of questioning that are pursued.
Once people grasp what the OTTO actually is, and what it is able to achieve - I think it will appeal to a much wider audience.
By that stage those of us in the know will be able to smugly say that we have been using ours for a while now and are happy that everyone else has caught up